Fires have always been a hot topic inside the beltline. If you’ve lived here long enough, you know what I mean. Thursday night was unlike anything Raleigh residents have seen, unless you’re pushing 100 years old. The Metropolitan, a new apartment complex across the street from the Quorum Center near Glenwood and Hillsborough, caught fire just before 10:00 pm. This wasn’t your typical “Wake County closing school because they heard it might snow a tenth of an inch” dumpster fire. This was a legitimate “it’s the end of days, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming” level fire.
Most importantly, Raleigh’s firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers did an incredible job of keeping the fire contained and everyone safe. 100 firefighters contained the fire after three hours. If you live in a building that was evacuated, call 919-996-2999 for information on when you can get back in to your building.
I’ll recap the entire night in a moment, but first let’s look at how Raleigh is coming together to help those in need.
Raleigh Rallies Around Fire
Plenty of Raleigh residents and businesses immediately offered support to those impacted by the fire. Within hours after the fire began, the Holiday Inn, or “Clarion” for those of you who recently moved here, offered rooms to those who had been displaced by the fire. By Friday morning, the Red Cross, First Baptist Church, and many others were setting up shelters.
Below are ways that you can help. We’ll update this as we get more information.
The Raleigh Police Dept. says the Quorum Center is hard hit due to extensive water damage from the sprinkler system running all night. Residents from both the Quorum Center and Link Apartments will probably not be able to get back into the building for a few days.
A relief center has been set up at 301 W Jones St – United Methodist Church Annex Building, where they are feeding firefighters and responders if you want to deliver food. Residents in need can contact Sergeant Dave Eckert (919-524-4527) who is coordinating overall efforts.
SportsChannel8 – is donating, and encouraging others to donate, to The 200 Club of Wake County, which “provides immediate financial help for the spouse and children of police officers, sheriff deputies, firemen, EMS squad members and North Carolina State Highway Patrol serving in Wake County who lose their life in the line of duty.”
Isaac Hunter’s Tavern – hosting a BBQ dinner Friday night at 6:00 pm. All proceeds go towards RFD and to support those affected by the fire.
VCA Triangle Tower Animal Hospital – offering to board pets. Call 919-231-8030.
Crank Arm Brewery – holding a clothing drive at its W. Davie Street location from open to close on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
518 West, or “Google Fiber” for those of you who JUST moved here, offered food, internet, charging, and a place to stay warm
Rise Cameron Village and North Raleigh – offering meals to any firefighter, police officer, EMT, or first responder
The Gramercy – letting people use their Clubroom, located at 650 West North St.
The Hibernian – donating a portion of today’s proceeds
ITB Insider™ Covers Downtown Fire Better Than Anyone Else
Around 10:08 pm on Thursday night, Brian Oschwald, a contributing ITB reporter who lives at the West condo, called to tell me the building across the street was on fire. I went to investigate, thinking it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I drove down West Morgan Street and immediately saw a tower of flames as I passed Moonlight Pizza. Turning left onto Glenwood, then right onto Hillsborough, I took this video.
It truly was like something you would see in a movie. I parked on West Street, in between Hillsborough and Edenton, and began a Facebook Live from the gravel parking lot before moving to the bridge on Hillsborough Street over the train tracks. My phone battery died, but only after I provided everyone with the best news coverage ever. I’m working on putting together a shorter video.
Posted by William Needham Finley IV on Thursday, March 16, 2017
To put this in context, here’s a clearer picture of where the fire started.
— Ashton Smith (@ashtonmae) March 17, 2017
Here’s exclusive footage from the West rooftop, from ITB contributor Brian Oschwald.
Posted by Brian James Patrick Oschwald on Thursday, March 16, 2017
This was taken from right outside of Clouds Brewing, less than a few hundred feet from the site of the fire.
On Friday morning I kicked off another delirious Facebook Live from the West condo, in which I rambled on for about an hour.
Update from the scene of the fire. Didn’t expect to ramble for almost an hour. Just trying to bring you coverage you can ITBelieve in.
Posted by William Needham Finley IV on Friday, March 17, 2017
Still smoking. Talked to a few Quorum residents who can't get back in to the building but can see inside their condos from two blocks away. pic.twitter.com/vw3DvI4TR2
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) March 17, 2017
Windows blown out in the Quorum Center. Looks like the sign actually melted. pic.twitter.com/xehqgTECau
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) March 17, 2017